head·​wind | \ ˈhed-ˌwind How to pronounce headwind (audio) \
plural headwinds

Definition of headwind

1 : a wind having the opposite general direction to a course of movement (as of an aircraft)
2 : a force or influence that inhibits progress Power-plant construction is facing headwinds in the U.S. as renewable energy projects and slack demand throw the economics of new generators into question.— Thomas Black For generations, the tribe has been leaning into cultural headwinds to preserve a language on the brink of extinction.— Kevin Simpson The plan faces political headwinds from both sides of the aisle …— Heidi M. Przybyla

Examples of headwind in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The finance minister said foreign direct investment in India has remained robust despite global headwinds. Washington Post, "India plans infrastructure investments to lift economy," 5 July 2019 Its Mid-Market location and headwinds in the mall sector are cited as challenges. Shwanika Narayan, SFChronicle.com, "With coffee, empanadas and a gym, Transbay center seeks to be SF retail destination," 1 July 2019 There are headwinds over concerns regarding the protection of European standards on the environment and food safety. Jeffrey T. Lewis, WSJ, "EU, Mercosur Reach Agreement on Trade," 28 June 2019 But it could be argued these headwinds are structural, due to factors like slowing productivity growth or workers who lack certain skills or who live too far from where the jobs are. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "Investors are betting on a rate cut. They shouldn’t.," 12 June 2019 The 78-year-old billionaire businessman has vigorously battled the charges, and the case against him faces judicial headwinds. Aron Heller, BostonGlobe.com, "Netanyahu awards Patriots owner Kraft with Israel’s Genesis Prize," 20 June 2019 But Trump's plan is facing some domestic headwinds. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things to know for June 6: D-Day, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Fiat Chrysler, homelessness," 6 June 2019 China’s exports fell sharply last month, adding to headwinds for the world’s second-largest economy as officials struggle to arrest a slowdown. WSJ, "Chinese Exports Plunge as Slowdown Deepens," 8 Mar. 2019 The first Osprey rolled out of Bell’s Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas on May 23, 1988, and the V-22 program immediately ran into strong headwinds. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "V-22 Osprey: The Story of the Revolutionary Tiltrotor Aircraft," 8 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'headwind.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of headwind

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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The first known use of headwind was in 1709

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English Language Learners Definition of headwind

: a wind that is blowing toward something (such as a ship or an airplane) as it moves forward

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